IPL franchisees relieved, gear up for new venue

Updated: 25 March 2009 17:04 IST

Relieved that the IPL is finally taking place, franchisees said it is better to have the event outside the country than not having it at all.

IPL franchisees relieved, gear up for new venue

New Delhi:

Relieved that the Twenty20 event is finally taking place defying all odds, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees on Wednesday said it is better to have the event outside the country than not having it at all.

Ranjit Borthakur, vice chairman of Rajasthan Royals, admitted the last year's winners would miss the home support when the second IPL gets underway in South Africa. But he was still happy that the event, shifted out of the country after it clashed with Lok Sabha elections, would finally get underway.

"It's disappointing that the event is not taking place in India. But if there was a choice between no tournament and a tournament outside India, it was always the latter," he said.

The die-hard optimist in him, however, was still praying for a miracle so that IPL returned to India.

"There is this Great Indian Dream. You really never know what can happen in India. Who knows, maybe there still are chances that it might return to India," he said.

Chennai Super Kings player Muttiah Muralitharan was also sad that the event was being held outside India but at the same time he was happy that it was finally taking place.

"It's disappointing because we would have played in front of home crowd and I guess it would not be the same this year.

"But at the same time, the game must go on, else cricket would die. This is the right decision," Muralitharan said.

Asked if he had any security apprehension about touring India during general elections, the Sri Lankan off-spinner said, "I've toured India many times, on personal tours as well and I never had any security concern. I think this time because there was elections, people seemed wary of security."

Chief Operating Officer of the Delhi Daredevils Amrit Mathur said with speculations about the second edition of the event finally put to rest, the team would soon start making the arrangements for its South Africa trip.

"We are very happy and with the clarity on venues, we can proceed to make the necessary arrangements," Mathur said.

Asked if sponsors would be equally happy, Mathur said, "Absolutely. We have a strong relationship with the partners and they are also very happy," he said.

Former South Africa captain and Mumbai Indian mentor-cum-adviser Shaun Pollock was happy that the event was going to be staged in his home country.

"It's a huge tournament and I think South Africa is ready to host the event. The domestic season has finished, stadiums are empty, practice facilities are available and the weather is going to be perfect," said the all-rounder who has been training most of the Mumbai Indian players at Durban.

Pollock admitted it would not be possible to match the kind of frenzy witnessed in India in the first season but predicted decent turnout for the matches.

"I doubt if South Africa would be able to get as big crowd as we saw last year. But people here love Twenty20 and appreciate world class players. I'm sure they will come out in numbers and support," Pollock said. Co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab Ness Wadia said he didn't have any particular preference for either South Africa or England, which was also in the race to host the event, but was big crowd as we saw last year. But people here love Twenty20 and appreciate world class players. I'm sure they will come out in numbers and support," Pollock said.

Co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab Ness Wadia said he didn't have any particular preference for either South Africa or England, which was also in the race to host the event, but was happy that the stalemate over the venue was finally over.

"I doubt if South Africa would be able to get as big crowd as we saw last year. But people here love Twenty20 and appreciate world class players. I'm sure they will come out in numbers and support," Pollock said.

Co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab Ness Wadia said he didn't have any particular preference for either South Africa or England, which was also in the race to host the event, but was happy that the stalemate over the venue was finally over.

"To be honest, I didn't have much preference. I have been to South Africa and it's a wonderful country with lot of support for cricket and India. Either of the two would have been good," Wadia said.

He was rather happy with the tournament starting a week late than its original schedule.

"It would give us more time for Yuvraj (Singh), (Kumar) Sangakkara and Mahela (Jayawardene) to be free from national duty and join the squad," he said.

Meanwhile, former South Africa player and ex-Board chief Ali Bacher was ecstatic with the decision which he felt came at the right time for the Proteas.

"I'm absolutely delighted and it is a great news for South Africa which is on a high, particularly after the success against Australia. It comes at the right time and we are expecting a lot of tourism and global television exposure," Bacher said.

Topics : Cricket
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